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Ex-tourism minister challenges Mnangagwa’s ‘fake’ airlines statistics at Zanu PF congress

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By Chief Correspondent


EXILED former tourism minister, Walter Mzembi has disputed President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s claims that only three airlines were flying into the country in 2017 against 17 currently jetting in courtesy of the new dispensation.

Responding to government spokesperson, Nick Mangwana on Twitter, Mzembi warned departments against abusing President Mnangagwa by giving him fake statistics such as the ones he presented at the Zanu PF congress, which ended Saturday.

“The number of airlines flying into our beautiful country has grown from three in 2017, to the present 17 airlines,” said the 80-year-old leader to wild applause from delegates at the party’s 7th congress.

“We have moved from a state of isolation to an active member within the community of nations and a favourable tourist destination.”

Mnangagwa, who was endorsed as the party’s candidate at next year’s polls, last week, took over from late President Robert Mugabe in a military assisted coup in 2017.

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“For the record there were 14 international airlines servicing Zimbabwe in 2017,” said Mzembi in response.

“For the avoidance of doubt get the record from CAAZ (Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe). We can also list them here. Departments should not abuse the President like this with false statistics.”

Mzembi went on to share a 2012 screenshot of an article by the Mail & Guardian detailing the arrival of Kenya’s KLM and Fly Emirates, as evidence to his case.

He argued Mnangagwa was at the event.

Mzembi is one of Mugabe’s close allies, who include former Youth minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Higher Education minister Jonathan Moyo that were hounded out of the country at the height of the coup.

After serving multiple terms in Mugabe’s Cabinet they are now holed up in different countries where they have become strong critics of Mnangagwa’s administration.